Over the past few months, Facebook and Google have been waging a war of sorts with the Australian government. The disagreement originates from a draft of the News Media Bargaining Code which was released at the end of July 2020. The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) had sought comments on the code, which essentially helps news organisations to collectively strike an equitable revenue-sharing deal with Google and Facebook. Both Google and Facebook have, unsurprisingly, reacted to the draft code with hostility. Google released an open letter, warning its Australian users that the code would lead to a dramatic drop in search results on both Google Search and YouTube. The company said that users' data, which Google had kept safe, would fall into the hands of media businesses. Facebook went a step further and threatened to stop publishers from sharing news on Facebook and Instagram if the code goes through in its current form. Australia's prime minister Scott Morrison has not taken well to Facebook and Google's reactions. Morrison said he didn't react well to coercion, according to a report by the Sydney Morning Herald. He urged the two companies to engage constructively in the discussion. What is the debate about? The ACCC's Bargaining Code is a result of discussion about how much share of the pie digital platforms such as Google or Facebook deserve when it comes to publishing news content, and whether they are profiting from such content disproportionately compared to news publishers. Code deals only with Facebook…
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